In a recent episode
of Mad Men
titled "Lady Lazarus
," Pete Campbell has an existential crisis when he sees a picture of the Earth from space, but were there color pictures of the whole Earth in October 1966? First some background... [more inside]
posted by quartzcity
on May 10, 2012 -
Click the photo at the top of the linked page to view The Voyagers
, a rumination on the universe, love, a golden record and two small space probes.
posted by Brandon Blatcher
on Dec 26, 2011 -
Carl Sagan famously said that we are all made of star stuff
. In his vision the basic building blocks of life were jettisoned into interstellar space by the massive explosions of stars going supernova. Now scientists from Hong Kong University have claimed
that the results of their latest study
(paywall), published in Nature, indicate that stars can create complex organic compounds on the very short timescale of weeks. [more inside]
posted by AElfwine Evenstar
on Oct 27, 2011 -
August and September 2011 mark 34 years in the journeys
of Voyager 1 and 2
. The two scientific probes, progeny of the Mariner program
, were sent out to survey this solar system and beyond. Voyager 2 completed
the Grand Tour
in 2009 (excluding Pluto), and Voyager 1 is getting closer to interstellar space
). Both scientific probes were sent out in with a time capsule from 1977
, golden records
secured in plain view on the outside of the Voyager Spacecraft. These greetings from earth (alt links: Coral Cache, Archive.org)
were recorded in the form of 116 images, a collection of sounds of this planet
in 55 languages
), 27 songs from around the world
, and brain waves of Ann Druyan
, then recently engaged to Carl Sagan
. For all that work, the "Mix Tape of the Gods" almost didn't get sent into space
because of some last-minute writing in the run-outs. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Aug 5, 2011 -
In 1977, NASA launched the Voyager 1 & 2 spacecraft, fastening to each a phonograph album containing sounds and music of Earth. If the best calculations are to be believed, one of these records was intercepted and “remixed” sometime in 2005 by extraterrestrial intelligences on the edge of our solar system. Ladies and Gentlemen: the Voyager Interstellar Record, Remixed by Extraterrestrials
posted by muckster
on Nov 13, 2010 -
Carl Sagan, Richard Feynman, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye, sing to us (auto-tuned in a way that I actually don't
hate), in We Are All Connected
*Possibly NSFW owing to sidebar video links.
Something similar was mentioned here previously
posted by bwg
on Oct 28, 2009 -
A Pale Blue Dot - An Unauthorized view.
Some time before he died in 1996, Carl Sagan recorded a partial audio version of his 1994 book "Pale Blue Dot". Often described as the "sequel" to Cosmos, the audio version of Pale Blue Dot is, at this moment, regrettably out of print.
This video is "episode one" of an unauthorized attempt at producing a series of videos based on Carl Sagan's "Pale Blue Dot" audio book combined with a soundtrack and appropriate video and still images intended to recall the feel of the classic documentary series "Ascent of Man" and "Cosmos"
posted by empath
on Jul 9, 2007 -
Life Beyond Earth and the Mind of Man. Direct Google Video link
to a fruitcake-tastic half-hour film of "a symposium held at Boston University on November 20, 1972 that explores the implications of the possible existence of extraterrestrial life within the galaxy and the universe. " Well worth scrubbing through for some good moments if you don't have time to watch the whole thing. Other cool old NASA videos on google video
include Who's Out There?
, starring a cigar smoking Orson Welles squinting a lot and reading off the cue cards, and Debrief: Apollo 8
: "Happiness is bacon squares for breakfast".
posted by 6am
on May 11, 2006 -
22 years ago, 13 hours of television changed my life.
I was just 11 years old when I saw Cosmos
for the first time. Carl Sagan
's explanation of the "Billions and Billions" of stars in our universe was often heckled, but I always related to the wonder of the magnitude that he was trying to relate. Vangelis
was responsible for the soundtrack (the same folks behind the music from Chariots of Fire
and Blade Runner
), and listening to it today, I feel the stirrings of emotion that brought me running to Science at an early age.
If you're looking for a gift for a child in your life this holiday season, I suggest the DVD Compilation
. Make sure to buy it from the carlsagan.com site, as 10% of the proceeds go to the Carl Sagan Foundation.
posted by thanotopsis
on Sep 9, 2002 -
The Universe in One Year
Every year on December 31 since I was in 7th grade I think of something I saw in an episode of Carl Sagan's Cosmos
. I found this
: Imagine that the history of the universe is compressed into one year—with the Big Bang occurring in the first seconds of New Year’s Day, and all our known history occurring in the final seconds before midnight on December 31. Using this scale of time, each month would equal a little over a billion years. Dinosaurs ruled the Earth for almost two hundred million years - from December 25 to December 30 on this time line. Most of our entire written history fits into the last 10 seconds of the year. It's something to think about while watching the ball drop tonight.
posted by stevis
on Dec 31, 2001 -